Body Damage: War Disability and Constructions of Masculinity in Weimar Germany

TitleBody Damage: War Disability and Constructions of Masculinity in Weimar Germany
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsKienitz, Sabine
EditorHagemann, Karen, and Stefanie Schüler-Springorum
Book TitleHome/Front: The Military, War, and Gender in Twentieth-Century Germany
Pagination181-204
PublisherBerg
CityOxford, UK; New York
Abstract

In the book chapter "Body Damage: War Disability and Constructions of Masculinity in Weimar Germany," of the edited volume Home/Front: The Military, War, and Gender in Twentieth-Century Germany, the author cautions against one-sided narratives that offer Ernst Jünger's steel soldier as the dominant form of masculinity. After the mutilation of war, it was left to technology to reshape shattered men into productive beings according to accepted constructs of masculine labor. Prosthetics contributed to the "mechanization of the body" as a "symbolic remasculinization" that melded man and machine to reintroduce productive bodies into the national collective. The male body's appearance and performance and its rehabilitation became sources of contention. On the one hand, mechanization fed the "fantasies and expectations of progress-oriented thinking," but on the other threatened to demean the body to "nothing but a source of energy for the prosthesis itself."

URLhttps://www.bloomsburyculturalhistory.com/encyclopedia?docid=b-9781350048379
Original PublicationHeimat-Front: Militär und Geschlechterverhältnisse im Zeitalter der Weltkriege
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53923555

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